Postponed Leap in Carbon Dioxide Emissions: The Impact of Energy Efficiency, Fuel Choices and Industrial Structure on the Finnish Energy Economy, 1800-2005
Jan Kunnas and Timo Myllyntaus
Global Environment 3 (2009): 154–189
The article examines the growth and composition of energy consumption in Finland in the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing on energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. It is based on the results of a research project that estimated the energy production and consumption of Finland since 1800 and calculated the country's energy balance, including both commercial and non-commercial energy sources. The article argues that, among European countries, Finland was “odd-man out” because it industrialized by means of renewable, indigenous energy sources. Only in the 1960s, in its mature phase of industrialization, did the country switch from indigenous energy sources – fuel wood, wood refuse and hydropower – to imported fossil fuels. The article analyses why Finland differed from the general model for such a long time and why it joined the ranks of other countries in a fairly short period.
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